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AFC - Match Report
match report 1908-09 fixture list
Scottish Cup First Round 
Morton 0 - 4 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  2:45 PM         Wilson, Niblo, Lennie, Simpson.  
Attendance: 7,000
Venue: Cappielow Park, Greenock
Brilliant Victory for Aberdeen
At Greenock before some 4000 spectators. The game was conducted on fast and interesting lines. The visitors' forward play was characterised by accurate passing, Niblo, in centre leading the line with judgement and dash. Morton's attack was keen and determined, and several times the Aberdeen goal was on the point of being rushed. Three minutes from half-time Wilson scored the first point for Aberdeen. Aberdeen furnished a surprise on the restart. Niblo got off when well placed and easily eluded the Morton goalkeeper. After a spell, Morton went to pieces, and goals were scored by Lennie and Simpson. Result :- Aberdeen, four; Morton, nothing.

Source: The Scotsman, 25th January 1909

The opening round in the Scottish Cup competition provided the leading events in the football world on Saturday. Aberdeen's opponents were Greenock Morton, the tie being played off at Cappielow Park, Greenock. This game was regarded as perhaps the most important of the day, for the Greenock club has invariably done well in former years against leading teams in the national cup competition. Although somewhat cold, the weather was remarkably good after the recent snowstorm, while the ground was in fair order, but in the centre of the field and near the goalmouth at the pavilion end the muddy conditions handicapped the players at times. There were fully 7000 spectators inside the enclosure when the teams lined up at 2:45 as follows:-

Aberdeen: Mutch; Colman, Hume; Wilson, McIntosh, Low; Blackburn, Simpson, Niblo, O'Hagan, Lennie.
Morton: Robertson; Stewart, Thompson; Glover, Nugent, Hendry; Speirs, Young, Hamilton, Gillies, Lindsay.
Referee - Mr. J. B. Stark, Airdrie.

When the teams appeared on the field, Morton leading the way, the players received an enthusiastic reception, the Aberdeen men being cheered again and again by a small section of faithful followers. With no wind or sun, the winning of the toss meant no advantage to either side, although it may be mentioned that Colman was successful in naming the correct side of the coin. The Morton players were the first to get off their mark, Lindsay speeding along the left wing, his intention apparently being to score right away. Colman, however, blocked the Morton left winger, the ball being returned well down the field. From this point almost until the finish the home supporters kept up an incessant shirt to the keen to "Play up," and the men responded to the calls of their friends, but much of their energies were misdirected. After Colman had cleared his lines, the Greenock forwards swept down in a body, but a foul against Hamilton brought relief to Aberdeen. Knitting themselves together, the Pittodrie team made their first incursion into the Greenock territory. A long pass by Niblo to the left wing came to nothing, Lennie being pulled up for offside. Lennie, however, soon made amends, racing past Stewart, and crossing right in front of goal. The ball was returned by Thomson, and next minute Hume tried a long shot, which, however, went behind. The game was fought out in desperate fashion. From end to end the ball travelled at an extraordinary pace, considering the heavy ground. Good football was at a discount. The half-backs kept lashing the ball ahead, and this style of play told greatly upon the forwards, who had to work tremendously hard in order to get on the ball. Both sets of backs kicked with great power, their punting being of a high order. But Morton were by far the more aggressive side, but near goal they lost numerous chances through over-anxiety. Hamilton, unable to get going by himself, adopted the plan of feeding Spiers on the right wing, and it was from this quarter that most danger came. Low and Hume, however, never faltered, the back especially playing a cool, resource full game. Wilson and McIntosh stood up to the furious rushes of the Greenock forwards in praiseworthy style. The Aberdeen forwards, however, were seldom in the game, and could not get into their stride, so persistent were the Greenock half-backs in their tackling. On when the struggle at a fast and furious pace. No quarter was given no asked. Play was not altogether rough, but it was forcible. The players went for each other as though the existence depended on the result of the match. Any forward play on the Aberdeen's side of a nature likely to get goals came from Simpson and Blackburn on the right wing - indeed, Simpson was the most thrustful, go-ahead forward on his side. Niblo got a fine chance following upon clever work by Simpson. The centre forward, however, was easily pulled up by Stewart, and away went Young and Speirs on the Morton right wing. Aberdeen returned to the Greenock end next minute, when Niblo lost a comparatively easy chance of scoring by shooting past the outside of the post with only Robertson to beat. The pace of the game increased as time went on. It is almost impossible to adequately describe the extraordinary vigour with which the battle was waged. It was a terrific struggle; every inch of ground was contested, with Morton likely to score at any moment. The Aberdeen defence, however, was sure and strong. The backs got splendid support from the halves, and all over the visitors were quite equal to the task of keeping out the Morton forwards. O'Hagan was prominent for Aberdeen with neat work in midfield, but stuck to the ball too long when he ought to have passed out to either wing. Close play was quite ineffective on the heavy ground. Niblo found the body surface all against his style of play. He certainly tried hard to get through, and on occasion he succeeded, but his shot lacked sting, and was easily cleared. Spurred on by the frantic shouts of their supporters, the Morton men almost overwhelmed the Aberdeen defence. Indeed, it was nothing short of marvellous have the visitors managed to keep their goal intact. One player stood out amongst his Fellows. This was Mutch in goal. His daring saves were the means of preventing at least a couple of goals for Morton. Twice he met the entire front rank single-handed, and just when a goal appeared certain to come, Mutch threw himself at the ball, grabbed it tightly, wormed his way clear, and took his side out of a very awkward corner. Morton claimed that the ball was through on one occasion - and it certainly appeared to be - of wild clearing his lines much was badly kicked, and a foul was awarded Aberdeen. This incident was followed by a brilliant save by Mutch. He cleared one shot quite easily, but the ball was returned a second time by Lindsay, within a yard of the post's, when Mutch stretched out his arm and just managed to divert the course of the ball. Shortly afterwards the goalkeeper actually knocked the ball off Hamilton's head when the latter was just on the point of scoring. Again Mutch came to the rescue of his team when he went Pell-Mell into a crowd of opponents and banged the ball up the field. The game was indeed a thrilling one.


Two wards half-time the Aberdeen forwards began to assert themselves, but there was a distinct weakness in their shooting. Niblo was completely off the target, but could not get a really good shot in, even although he got more than one chance at close quarters. A spanking run and judicious center by Blackburn almost brought a goal to Aberdeen. Lennie got badly knocked out when Stewart rushed him of his feet, but the left winger soon recovered. Simpson went away on the Aberdeen right, but got poor support. McIntosh, Low, and Wilson worked with untiring energy, but all the efforts failed to bring about the much-desired goal until about a minute and a half from the interval. Simpson got on the ball, but Wilson was the man who believed led the attack. The right half dribbled grandly ahead; he got blocked near the penalty line, but recovered the ball, slipped the back, got in a terrific shot, and in an instant the ball was sent flying into the far corner of the net - a brilliant bit of play capped by a splendid goal. Aberdeen came away again, but the Morton backs cleared in time.

The second half opened in some what sensational fashion. Morton restarted, and that once made off for goal. Colman returned the ball, which was picked up by Lennie, who in turn passed to Niblo. Laughter raced away from the centre of the field, got past the backs, and had us a clear course for goal. Robertson, goalkeeper, rushed out to meet Niblo, who, however, gently lifted the ball over Robertsons head, and before the latter could realise the situation, the ball went sailing into the untenanted goal. Niblo's judgment was a fine example of a thoroughly experienced player. Two goals up, Aberdeen had now a commanding lead. They played confidently and skilfully, but Morton made a great rally, and for fully 10 minutes the Aberdeen goal underwent a terrific bombardment, the like of which has not been witnessed in any of their previous games this season. Morton were simply irresistible. Aberdeen were fairly hemmed in on all sides. Speirs, Young, and Lindsay all had capital shots, which were brilliantly cleared by Hume, Wilson, and Low. The visiting backs kept their heads in a most trying state of affairs. Mutch fisted away a stinging drive from Hendry, and next minute Young lost are rare chance in front of an open goal. The ball struck his knee and bounced across the goalmouth, where Hume dashed in and cleared. Colman punted strongly when hard pressed, and Wilson and Low blocked a terrific onslaught by Hamilton, Young, and Lindsay. The pressure was of the hottest description. Then Morton appeared to lose heart. Their forwards could make nothing of the stonewall defence set up by Colman and his men, and the game went greatly in favour of Aberdeen. With almost half-an-hour to go, the position of Morton was well-nigh hopeless. The pace began to tell on the majority of the players, with the result that Aberdeen quickly got into their own style of play, the front rank indulging in neat, accurate passing, which completely baffled the Greenock defence. Fifteen minutes from the close, Blackburn got the ball from Simpson, and crossed beautifully in front of goal. Lennie secured the pass, and quickly netted the ball, making Aberdeen three up. The closing stages were all in favour of Aberdeen, in 9 minutes from the finish Simpson scored a fourth goal following a pass from Lennie. The Morton were now a thoroughly beaten, disorganised team. Niblo lost too easy chances of scoring right in front of goal - one shot going across the Barr, when the centre-forward had only Robertson to beat almost on the goal line. Niblo, however, had one particularly good drive near the finish. He caught up a fine pass from Simpson, and banged the ball to wards goal, a leather just skimming the bar.

Aberdeen thoroughly deserved their win. They lasted the game splendidly, when their defence came through a trying ordeal early in the tie with great distinction. Simpson, Wilson, and Mutch of the outstanding men on the Aberdeen side. The gate amounted to 103; stands, 9 - all in, 112.

Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 25th January 1909


Sugaropolis Melted.

For once in a time we had a fine, dry, crisp day on our arrival at Gteonock; after spending the previous night in a Glasgow hotel, with a visit to the Pavilion thrown in. A better day for the game could not have been wished. The pitch looked all right, and the crowd came pouring in with high expectations of the local team winning. We did not meet a local enthusiast who had any doubts as to the result, and Aberdeen were never mentioned as winners. We advised Aberdeen to put their hest foot foremost, and right worthily they obeyed our behests, for, when all is said and done, every man jack vied with his neighbour to make up for any mistake that had been committed. The teams took the field without any changes, and set to business right away. We had an anxious few minutes to begin with, but our anxiety was soon relieved and a feeling of confidence took its place. Our backs met the local attack resolutely, while Mutch held the fort as he can do. We think his baptism of fire put him on his mettle, for no matter what came his way he could field, fist, or kick as smartly as the best. Hamilton tried to wound him once, the referee with vigilant eye gave a foul, our hearts beating the while, for it was a near thing. Another likely shot from the left looked dangerous, but the whistle sounded, Mutch letting the ball roll in.
Aberdeen were now coming more prominently into the picture by some effective combination which called forth Greenotk's defence to exert all they had to prevent their downfall. The long-expected came at last, and no worthier player could have done the trick. The ball was taken along by the right and centred to Niblo, who shot, but Hendry got his foot on the ball, and Wilson, careering after his men, fastened on at once and, shooting with unerring accuracy and plenty of pith behind it, made Robertson's fingers tingle as the ball flashed past him into the net.
Aberdeen deserved their goal lead at half-time for they played the better football, and more of it was to come.

Hardly had the game been resumed when the left wing pair set off, and, drawing the opposition on them, Lennie squared the ball across to Niblo, who ran clear away. Robertson came out to meet him, but the old chap knew what he was about, and, lifting the ball nicely over the custodian's head, it went into the net. Number two - and a good one. Our confidence of winning was now unshakable, but Greenock were determined to die game, and put on a spurt for a short time. It was their last effort, the superior training of the visitors, combined with their thorough knowledge of the game put Greenock completely out. Lennie came away with one of his own charecteristio shots, which almost went through the net, and to add to this Niblo and Blackburn missed a dead snip, the former going where the ball should have been. Bobbie Simpson made the game secure when ho got the fourth goal, and as he had been playing a prominent part all through, he deserved the hand-shaking which he received. It was all over now, and we must congratulate the players on their magnificent performance. To go to Greenock and put four goals past their defence has been only done once this season, so far as we know, and that by the Celts in the League match at the start of the season.

Play and Players.

When all did so well, we do not wish to individualise unnecessarily, but it is due to several of the players to get their just reward for the part they took in the game. Mutch, at a critical juncture, stood out prominently, and his success in repelling the onslaughts of his opponents inspired confidence in those who were in front of him. Coleman and Hume were in their best mood, while the halves worked like Trojans, though Wilson caught the eye most through his planting the ball well into goal every time. Stewart of Greenock had a wandering commission to keep the left wing in hand, and for a considerable time he dogged the steps of Lennie and O'Hagan successfully. Till they ran this player off his feet, their policy was to ply the ball away to the right, and this brought Simpson and Blackburn, into prominence. It also showed unselfishness, and this, is the spirit which pays. Niblo was a success, and Aberdeen need have no regret on keeping this player on Saturday's form. The best men on the Greenock side were the backs and goalkeeper. Though the latter was beaten four times he saved others, and towards the close kept his side from suffering a big defeat. Of the forwards, Speirs and Young were clever in the open, but weak at finishing. Hamilton in the first half was like the R. C. of old, but he was pumped out in the second, and did very little. There were periods of the usual cup tie clear at-any-price, but get the ball away, and there were intervals in which some fine bits of combination were witnessed, the better, we must confess, coming mostly from the Aberdeen side. That Aberdeen went beyond their most sanguine supporters' anticipations was evidenced by the enthusiasm with which the result was received at Pittodrie, where about 300 waited the announcement which was phoned direct from the "Bon-Accord" Office.

Chatty Bits.

Not since the Hampden Park result has there been such enthusiasm as was displayed over Saturday's tie.
The various announcements at Pittodrie only served to keep up excitement till the final came.
As it was known that the team would arrive home on Saturday night, the station was packed with followers of the club, who gave the players and officials a hearty welcome.
Scottish League football was blank on Saturday. There is a full card for this week.
Cup-ties are good enough in a way, but they create far too much excitement for the play that is generally shown.
The next round of the Scottish is due on the 6th of February, the same date as the English Cup.
Fortunately, all the Aberdeen players came home from Greenock without mishap, and are reported fit and well for their League game with Third Lanark.
Halkett's absence was not so much felt on Saturday; the pitch suited Wilson, and he revelled in forcing work.
If Wilson goes on scoring in every metch he is played in, he will soon become indispensable.
Aberdeen " A " meet Peterhead in the next round of the County Cup, which is due to be played on or before 13th February.
St Johnstone's often-delayed fixture at Pittodrie seems destined never to come off. Alway Something crops up to prevent it being played.
So far as is known there are to be no protests in the, first round of the Scottish ties.

Source: Bon-Accord, 28th January 1909

Morton Teamsheet:  Robertson; Stewart, Thompson; Glover, Nugent, Hendry; Speirs, Young, Hamilton, Gillies, Lindsay


Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Mutch, Colman, Hume, Wilson, McIntosh, Low, Blackburn, Simpson, Niblo, O'Hagan, Lennie.

Unused Subs:


Referee: Mr. J. B. Stark, Airdrie

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